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Travel Sickness Could Cost Unprotected Brits An Extra 900 This Summer Warns The ABI

Uninsured British travellers who fall ill on holiday this summer could face an average extra £900. holiday bill according to the Association of British Insurers.

Despite this many travellers are under-estimating or ignoring the risk of falling ill abroad so facing potentially crippling medical bills:

• Every week. travel insurers deal with nearly 5,000 claims from travellers who have fallen ill abroad, paying out £4.5 million.

• Nearly one in four. travellers still holiday abroad without travel insurance protection, with 16% mistakenly thinking that the UK government will pay for medical treatment if they fall ill abroad (source for both figures: consumer research by ABTA, January 2013).
• For people travelling in Europe there remains a significant lack of understanding on the need to have, in addition to travel insurance, a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). ABI consumer research. reveals that nearly half (46%) did not know that the EHIC entitles them to state-provided healthcare, with over half (56%) unaware that the Card has to be renewed every five years.

ABI spokesperson Malcolm Tarling said:

“Falling ill while abroad has got to be the biggest fear for any traveller. Yet too many UK travellers are playing Russian roulette when travelling abroad by failing to protect themselves against mortgage size expensive medical bills. In the USA for example minor operations can cost £20,000. This makes travel insurance not simply an option but a must have for travellers.

“And travellers in Europe, should not just reply on the European Health Insurance Card. While this will pay for the cost of medical treatment it may not cover everything that would be free on the NHS, and will not cover the cost of medical repatriation back to the UK.”

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Last updated 01/07/2016